KimChi Ferment

My fermenting habits are skilling up. Making yogurt is a routine and I've established an easy way with making sauerkraut.

I relate the two procedures as I snaffle some whey from the yogurt  (and the whey is alive and  rich in lactobacillus) to kick start the ferment for the sauerkraut. Adding a lactobacillus rich  fluid like this also speeds up the process.

But I wanted to point out some of my hardware preferences. 

I use EasyYo yogurt flasks but I don't use them to make yogurt! I use them to ferment cabbage.For fermenting -- bought second hand from Op shops ($4-10) -- they are ideal -- and I have collected  a few flasks to serve my needs.

The EasyYo flask comes with little round shelf which fits inside the cylinder so that it can be pushed down or raised and that makes an ideal rest for my weights: glass jars filled with water. (But don't put metal lids on these jars. Use glass or plastic lids or simply leave them open.I think it's cleaner with less chance of contamination to use an open or glass lid.)

So long as you ensure the ferment liquid in the flask doesn't rise above the top of the lip on the  glass jars (which would cause the two fluids to mix if open) , the water in the jars function as a handy weight pushing down on the cabbage.

Trust me on this: fermenting is all about drowning.

You push down -- weight -- the cabbage in a ferment in order to drive out, or sweat out, a lot of the liquid in its leaves. You also need to ensure that the vegetables in your ferment are always submerged and not exposed to the air. Fermentation -- ie: safe fermentation --  is an anaerobic process.

As the ferment proceeds more liquid is produced  because of the chemical impact   of the added salt on the vegetables tissues. 

My current ferment is my first attempt at tackling kimchi -- the traditional Korean ferment. 

So far so good. Looks like/tastes like/smells like...kimchi.

One week later...

Not red enough (because I used fresh chilli rather than powder) and a tad too 'wet' compared to the Real Kimmy McCoy -- but my DIY kimchi turned out really tasty...and just right for my palate's preferences. Easy too. More exotic than sauerkraut, of course, and coincidentally less laborious...My fermenting habits may indeed switch from the Germanic take to those of north Asian persuasion.
I used this recipe approach but adapted it a little by adding my own fresh whey. I think I have more control that way. The main difference from sauerkraut is that the  sauerkraut   cabbage (although a different cabbage -- Napa ) is traditionally grated and it's easier to squeeze out the juice. In kimchi the pieces are much larger so the 'squeezing' and weighing down has less impact. I also think Napa is a drier cabbage than the standard drum head, although it's also softer. Of coure sauerkraut's primary taste is sourness whereas kimchi has a range of flavours -- in comparison hereon sauerkraut may seem bland 



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